Sunday’s Forum

James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. charon says:

    Deep diving the data at a favorite Covid site, AM of 11/15/2020.

    Exponential growth examples, overall U.S, Us.Midwest (collectively), US West, and AZ:

    7-day rolling average new cases Covid:


    Zero days ago: 44.1/100K

    7   days ago    33.1/100K

    14 days ago   24.2/100K


    U,S. Midwest states:

    Zero days ago: 88.4/100K

    7   days ago    62.2/100K

    14 days ago   44.3/100K


    U,S. West states:

    Zero days ago: 33.8/100K

    7   days ago    24.4/100K

    14 days ago   18.5/100K



    Zero days ago: 30.8/100K

    7   days ago    22.4/100K

    14 days ago   18.5/100K

    With stories like this, my guess is the holidays will likely get pretty nasty:

    (This is where our White House etc. GOP role models are taking their followers).

    Parents Tried to Cover Up a ‘Superspreader’ Dance. Disaster Ensued.

    It didn’t take a detective long to realize that someone in Rolla, Missouri, was throwing a massive party—even before it was deemed a potential superspreader event.Sailing-themed invitations were screen-shotted on Snapchat. Parents wrote cryptic Facebook posts. Pink formal dresses popped up on Instagram.

  2. charon says:


    Choice excerpts from my Rolla linky:

    When the inevitable COVID-19 cases started popping up, Wann said her department’s job was made harder by the fact that there was no list of attendees.

    This wasn’t an accident: The health department was told “by community members and those in attendance” that organizers intentionally hid the number and identity of those in attendance to avoid contact tracing in the event of an outbreak, according to Wann. That account of deliberate epidemiological obfuscation was bolstered by a handful of accounts from residents.

    As of Friday, there were seven cases tied to the event and several others at Rolla High School among students and staff members, Wann told The Daily Beast. She was not optimistic about her department’s ability to link all relevant cases.

    “So my friend and I did a thing yesterday,” local parent Cory Coates posted on Facebook after the dance. “We did a REALLY big thing. And we had a lot of support. And a lot of help. And a lot of really happy kids. And it was kind of amazing. And I really want to recognize and thank these people but I can’t. But my heart is full and I think the kids are happy and it was worth it. I would do it again. I’m happy and sad at the same time and I want normalcy. I think we delivered this for one night. #HOCORHS2020.”

    Highlighting that tension—and the difficult task facing the health department—one local woman claimed in a series of Facebook posts that her daughter “did not attend the dance” but that she had added the health department number into her phone in order to avoid their calls.

    “I’m sorry, but if you’re OK with your kid ratting other kids out to the health department for attending a private event, you are the bigger problem… SMDH SOCIALISM,” she wrote. “I don’t have to answer any of their questions. F#%* them.”

    “This is how it all starts,” she continued. “Dividing, labeling. Your home raided in the middle of the night. Don’t think it could happen here? Think again. The difference is, our citizens are armed, according to their constitutional rights.”

  3. charon says:

    And, diving into this site we find (new cases):

    El Paso: 181.5/100K

    ND: 181.4/100K

    SD: 154.2/100K

    IA: 141.6/100K

    WI: 117.9/100K

    IL: 97.5/100K


  4. Sleeping Dog says:


    While to the north-northwest…

    The Dakotas are ‘as bad as it gets anywhere in the world’ for COVID-19

    ND governor has thrown in the towel and ordered a mask mandate and restrictions on businesses. But it is a case of shutting the corral gate after the horses have run off. While SD gov, Kristy Noem, continues to ride the FREEDUM wagon and flogs that oxen.

    During the summer Noem’s position got a favorable press from wingnut media, with suggestions that she could be a player in the 24 presidential race or at least a possible VP. Makes you wonder how receptive even the Cult45 will be to thousands of unnecessary deaths on her watch. Kristy Noem, Angel of Death.

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Record numbers of residents have been leaving California in recent years, but in 2020 the growth of remote work, the lure of cheaper housing and a summer of unprecedented wildfires has accelerated the trend. As a result, the moving business in San Francisco’s Bay Area is booming, but the surge has come with its own set of problems.

    Moving trucks are hard to find, prices to get out of the Bay are being pushed sky-high, and the supply side of the market – with high starting costs and because movers are required to obtain state licenses – has been slow to respond.

    The shortage has created openings for an underground moving economy complete with scammers who take advantage of desperate California escapees, left without easy options.

    Inevitable, due to the cost of housing alone. But this,

    Even at U-Haul stores – the rental truck retailer with the largest fleet across the US – trucks are in short supply. With so many trucks departing the Bay Area, the exodus has left an imbalance of returning vehicles. The shortage has sharply driven up truck prices for one-way trips out of town.

    “Two households are moving out of California for every one moving in,” says Mark Perry, a professor of economics and finance at the University of Michigan who has been studying the US migration market over the past few years. “U-Haul is pricing it based on the imbalance they see and they now have a shortage of trucks in San Francisco.”

    U-Haul changes truck prices regularly, but Perry has noted the pattern over time. Checking online recently, he noted that trucks going from Phoenix to San Francisco were only $311, but going the other direction it cost $2,500 – roughly eight times more. He checked cities in other top destinations for Californians, including Texas, Washington and Nevada, and found all outbound rates to be exponentially higher than inbound ones.

    Is rather illustrative, a bit of a shock even.

  6. mattBernius says:

    Trump admitted Biden won, without naming him, this morning on Twitter.

  7. CSK says:

    That’s about as much of a concession as we can expect.

  8. charon says:

    In Kansas, school nurses trying to do contact tracing are being berated or stonewalled by parents

    I have a night off from the hospital. As I’m on my couch with my dog I can’t help but think of the Covid patients the last few days. The ones that stick out are those who still don’t believe the virus is real. The ones who scream at you for a magic medicine and that Joe Biden is going to ruin the USA. All while gasping for breath on 100% Vapotherm. They tell you there must be another reason they are sick. They call you names and ask why you have to wear all that “stuff” because they don’t have COViD because it’s not real. Yes. This really happens. And I can’t stop thinking about it. These people really think this isn’t going to happen to them. And then they stop yelling at you when they get intubated. It’s like a fucking horror movie that never ends. There’s no credits that roll. You just go back and do it all over again.

  9. DrDaveT says:


    So my friend and I did a thing yesterday,” local parent Cory Coates posted on Facebook after the dance. “We did a REALLY big thing. And we had a lot of support. And a lot of help.

    So, let’s see: reckless endangerment, criminal conspiracy, … eventually contempt of court when they refuse to assist contact tracers… what else am I missing?

  10. Michael says:

    With all of these hospitalizations, including many ending up in intensive care units, I want to know who is paying for all the VERY expensive health care for these people?

  11. Mister Bluster says:


  12. Mister Bluster says:

    Sunday, November 15, 2020 at 07:43
    @Mister Bluster: who are you quoting?

    I am quoting Mister Block.
    (Get it? Blockquote…Mister Block)

  13. Michael Reynolds says:

    I keep hearing that people are leaving California – welcome news, frankly – but somehow housing gets ever more expensive. I bought my house a bit less than two years ago and according to Zillow it’s appreciated $200,000. Something does not compute. Massive unemployment from Covid, people fleeing the state in droves and somehow home prices keep going up?

    Some smart economics major ‘splain this to me.

  14. Slugger says:

    Yesterday, I commented that Mr. Trump went to the golf course instead of the ASEAN summit, an event that he has not attended since 2017. This morning I read that the conference reached an agreement:
    Trump scuttled the TPP, and now there is a trade agreement in Asia but with China instead of the US. I don’t think that Trump has any interest in opposing Chinese expansionism.

  15. DrDaveT says:

    On a lighter note, what are the fake Trump t-shirt slogans you’d like to see? Share them with the rest of us. Under an image of Der Orange, some phrase like:

    “Trump / Putin 2024”
    “Count all the votes for me”
    “Typhoid Mary was a martyr”
    “But the emails!”

  16. Kathy says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    One can imagine these people thinking: We keep pouring gasoline on the fire and it just keeps growing hotter. We clearly need more gas to put it out.

  17. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Michael: The combined economic power of insurance providers and tax payers pays for it. Same as virtually everyone else who goes to the hospital–including people with no insurance who use the ER as their PCP.

  18. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Michael Reynolds: The people who can afford and want property in Cali largely were unaffected by economic factors pre Covid, are unaffected currently by economic impacts of Covid, and will be largely unaffected by economic factors post Covid. Basically, their all peers of Michael Grant, best selling author, and possessors of adequate economic resources so that the turns in the economic outlook are incidental to them.

    Face it Michael, you travel in a different strata of life than the people who are losing their jobs and homes. So are your peers. It’s not an economic mystery at all. We’ve managed to split the society in to fragments and you finesse the situation, pretending not to realize it by feigning economic ignorance.

  19. EddieInCA says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Boom. Exactly. I bought my house 7 years ago, and it’s more than doubled in value. My house in Florida has only apprciated 40% in that time. We bought them both in 2013.

    But the market is crazy here in the Valley. Hard to find a house even for sale. It’s a tight market. Houses are selling over asking with multiple offers immediately.

    Someone needs to explain it to me as well.

  20. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: (I guess Blunder got the edit today, rats!) And I’m not even an economics major, just a retired teacher of English (not even a professor, no matter what they said in Korea 😉 ).

  21. EddieInCA says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    But we have people here to live on minimum wage, like everywhere else. People are still coming in, even at lesser numbers. I’ll be curious to see what the actual year over year numbers are, because the stories about “people leaving California” have been told for decades, yet somehow all those people doesn’t affect the housing market. A decent one bedroom in a shitty part of town still goes for $1600 per month. A nice one bedroom in Century City, or Downtown, or Santa Monica will set you back $3500 per month.

    Yet somehow, college kids, minimum wage workers, baristas, supermarket checkers, uber and lyft drivers, seem to be able to live here.


  22. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @EddieInCA: You live in the same strata as Michael. Not hard to understand at all. The fact that you own two houses shows that you live a different life. Granted, neither you nor Reynolds is Jeff Bezos, or even McKenzie, but at the strata you live in, even the relatively poor are orders of magnitude more well off than the rest of us.

  23. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @EddieInCA: Can’t speak for Cali as I’ve never lived there, but in the PNW, I know people working minimum wage jobs (for full time, that’s roughly $30k in Portland) who are living 3 to a studio. There are married couples that I know that live 2 couples to a one bedroom. I know of people in Seattle who are teachers making $60k that still live in their mom’s basement. A family of three lived in the apartment next to mine–400 sq. ft. studio.

    And those are the lucky ones. One of my neighbors had been living in his car until a studio opened here. And I live outside the high rent zone of the Metro Portland, OR, area. The lower rents here don’t seem to have affected the homelessness problems here, though. The two school districts in the ~55,000 population exurban area I live in have 425 identified homeless children in school.

    But to answer specifically on how… damnifiknow.

    The fact that you and I don’t see the cracks, doesn’t mean it isn’t broken.

  24. Flat earth luddite says:

    Don’t know bout there, but I know how it works other places…
    That crappy 1 bedroom?
    You’ve got 2 or 3 roommates splitting the costs. Each of you is working 2 or 3 part time minimum wage jobs. You’re praying no one gets sick or moves out.
    Saw it in Seattle 40 years ago. Watching it happen Portland for the last decade. Upper strata doesn’t get it, but when the revolution comes, there’s not enough rope for all of you.
    My only consolation is im likely dead before it hits.

    Or, as Nero used to say to Archie. Pfui!

  25. Michael Cain says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Front Range Colorado has been doing nearly the same thing. People are still moving here. Businesses are still relocating here. Early last summer when the pandemic was rolling, home builders made the guess that the moving would stop so cut back on construction. The most recent statistics said that for every 100 people looking for a house, there are 29 houses available. We are finishing up moving from one part of the area to another. In the four months from when we first signed with a broker until the old house actually went on the market, the old house appreciated by more than $30,000.

    It’s a modest house. When we moved here 33 years ago we could afford the payments on a single income. The only people shopping for that kind of house today who can afford it are either a couple both with very good jobs or someone who has been on a similar real estate escalator.

  26. charon says:

    @Michael Reynolds:


    Speculators, maybe some foreign, playing a rising market.

  27. charon says:


    Speculators, maybe some foreign, playing a rising market.

    Stock market maybe partially this, partially low interest rates because of slack economy.

  28. Mister Blunder says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:…Blunder

    I like it! Let’s see if I can use it for my new handle….

  29. Mister Bluster says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:..Blunder

    I like it! Let’s see if I can use it for my new handle…

    Nope. Blundered right into moderation…
    Now it’s been released! And look! There’s the EDIT function! Only took one page reload!

  30. wr says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: People wonder why Arizona just turned blue. This is pretty much why. You can sell your shithole crackerbarrel in the Bay Area for a million and a half and buy something three times as big for a quarter of the price in Phoenix. It’s already happened to Colorado, maybe Texas is next.

  31. CSK says:

    WordPress is deplatforming The Conservative Tree House. They have till Dec. 2 to find a new home.

  32. wr says:

    @CSK: “WordPress is deplatforming The Conservative Tree House

    And without a platform, The Conservative Tree House is just… The Conservative Tree.

  33. al Ameda says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I bought my house a bit less than two years ago and according to Zillow it’s appreciated $200,000. Something does not compute. Massive unemployment from Covid, people fleeing the state in droves and somehow home prices keep going up?
    Some smart economics major ‘splain this to me.

    Well, I did major in economics.but …
    Here are some thoughts:
    (1) We haven’t yet seen the full effects of Covid, I think 6 months from now we’re going to be looking at a greatly changed reality … in the workplace, the way we work, etc.
    (2) Here in the Bay Area, we’re seeing people with money, a lot of money, dropping big cash to buy homes on the west side of the bay from Silicon Valley on up to Sea Ranch, and though the number of home sales may dip slightly, mean or median prices have not. I think it’s due to the fact that there is not a lot of new housing supply in Santa Clara, San Mateo, San Francisco, Marin or Sonoma counties. Location, location, etc.
    (3) In LA I suspect it’s the same thing – in ‘cool’ places like Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Manhattan/Hermosa/Redondo Beach(s), Silver Lake, etc there’s a limited supply and that keeps price pressure high. The cool places are always cool places. The places where there’s a lot of stock, new suburbs, lots of tract homes, places that crashed in 2008, my guess is that they’re showing lower prices now too.

    We haven’t really seen where this is going … YET.

  34. Monala says:

    I saw some recent photos of the Obama girls, and thought about the stupid and offensive rightwing lies that they are not really the biological daughters of the Obamas (this is part and parcel of the “Michelle is a man” dreck, thus, she couldn’t have birthed the girls).

    Anyway, it’s absolute nonsense. Malia Obama, when she isn’t smiling, is the spitting image of President Obama. She inherited his long oval face and his features. She also inherited her mother’s smile, so when she smiles, she looks just like Michelle.

    Sasha Obama’s features are more unique to her, but like her sister, she inherited her parents’ height, a skin tone that is exactly halfway between that of Barack and Michelle’s, and her mother’s smile.

    In other words, there’s no way possible those girls are anything other than the biological children of Barack and Michelle.

  35. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I bought my house a bit less than two years ago and according to Zillow it’s appreciated $200,000. Something does not compute. Massive unemployment from Covid, people fleeing the state in droves and somehow home prices keep going up?

    You’re looking at a single point and thinking it applies to the entire array.

    Up until about six months ago, the population of CA was increasing–but at the slowest rate since 1900. The numbers for this year (so far) show an actual negative population growth. It’s a small drop (just under 90k) but it’s significant that it is negative. The cities, however, aren’t where that drop is coming from.

    LA is growing at a rate of .32% annually. SF is shrinking slightly at a .12% drop.

    One of the biggest factors in rising housing prices is the fact that the cities aren’t allowing new construction–or are placing such massive barriers that it’s not viable for developers to build. SF is horrible in this regard.

    Reason has a long list of stories about how SF won’t let new housing be built.

    LA is growing, but the housing construction isn’t able to keep up (because of regulation). It’s pure supply and demand.

  36. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Michael Reynolds: I don’t get it either. Prices are going up around here too and it is a sellers market. My neighbor recently sold her place for 3 times what they bought it for (after owning it for less than 8 1/2 yrs) and the first person who looked at it bought it at the asking price.

    This is a recession? Apparently only for poor folks.

  37. DrDaveT says:


    This is a recession? Apparently only for poor folks.

    Which makes it different from which recession?

    The last economic downturn that really hurt the rich was in 1929, and even then it only hit the stupid and/or cocky rich. Money is the best insulation.

  38. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mister Blunder: Sorry. 🙁

  39. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mister Bluster: As I said earlier, you’re getting the edit today. Lucky you! 😛

    And again, apologies for getting your nym wrong. My bad. (Which I couldn’t write on the previous post because the edit button did come up. Aw snap!)

  40. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @DrDaveT: Which makes it different from which recession?

    2008. I get your point but us construction workers, who are generally middle class folks, take it up the ass in every recession and certainly did in the one in ’08 when something like 60% of the guys in my local were out of work. I was lucky to have worked thru it, but even at that those of us who were working had to up our pension contributions to get it back in the black.

    First recession I did work thru. Certainly didn’t during Reagan’s. Or W’s 1st downturn. (iirc during the GHWB’s I managed spurts, but that was a while ago)

    This recession has thus far more or less spared the carpenters. I’m not sure how much longer that will last.

  41. Jax says:

    @Monala: They’ve both grown to be such beautiful girls!

  42. DrDaveT says:


    I get your point but us construction workers, who are generally middle class folks, take it up the ass in every recession and certainly did in the one in ’08 when something like 60% of the guys in my local were out of work.

    OK, fair enough — I get your point as well now. I was reading “poor” in its sense of “not rich”, but you’re right that different recessions have very different effects on different strata of the gainfully employed classes.

  43. Sleeping Dog says:


    One of the reason prices are up is that Covid has decreased the number of new listings. Around our area, since it is a beach community, there are folks from Boston and NYC who are up looking for second homes. With work from home likely to be a permanent option, why not.

  44. JohnSF says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    My WAG: investment in land is often seen as a safe haven in times of low interest rates and worries about corporate viability and even public bonds.
    Also, California is a pretty desirable place to live. Positional goods.
    Similarly, in UK house prices in “stockbroker belt” around London are firm; also in France in “desirable” areas in/around Paris; Germany in Berlin & Frankfurt, etc

  45. DrDaveT says:

    Musings prompted by Dr. Taylor’s longing for “functional governance”…

    As best I can tell, the preamble of the GOP version of the Constitution must read something like this:

    …form a less perfect union, deny justice, undermine domestic tranquility, provide for the defense of the powerful, ignore the general welfare, and secure the blessings of wealth to the wealthy and their posterity…

    I can’t think of a single GOP action over the past 40 years that is inconsistent with that litany of inversions and exceptions.